It was 7:30 in the morning, cool and cloudy. The Field School truck set off from TBI Ileret for a three-hour drive to Buluk, about a 76 kilometre trip. It was a long-planned and well prepared journey. We had everything loaded up for what we would need in the three-day camping trip: water, food, tents, bedrolls, etc. And we had a team of experienced fieldwork organizers who left one hour earlier and took care of everything. By the time we arrived, the camp was almost set! Efficiency is the key! Three hours felt pretty short, at least for those who slept off most of it. The rain previous night certainly helped to reduce a large fraction of sweat and dust on our faces. Saved us more water for showers!
Compared to other areas of East Turkana, Buluk seems to be really out of place: it is the only early Miocene site and bears a completely different set of faunal remains. Among the most common mammals are ancestors and distant relatives of modern elephants, pigs, giraffes and rhinos. Together with Dr. Ellen Miller from Wake Forest University, Field School students were ready to start a new adventure: one that can take us back to 17 million years ago.